Opinion Former Article

SEN pupils face unacceptable barriers to achievement

Pupils with special educational needs are not receiving the support they are entitled to due to budget cuts and a lack of specialist training for teachers, the Annual Conference of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, heard today.

More pupils with additional and complex needs are being educated in mainstream schools, but teachers are not receiving the necessary training to enable them to meet these pupils’ needs, representatives told the Conference in Manchester.

This is being compounded by the squeeze on school budgets which is reducing further the tailored resources and support in the system for pupils with special and additional needs.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Teachers and schools will always strive to do their best for every child they teach, but it is unacceptable for them to be expected to meet the needs of pupils without the necessary resources and training.

“However, teachers cannot meet the diverse learning needs of pupils without access to high-quality support and resources in the classroom, the school and beyond.

“Teachers are being denied access to high quality, specialist CPD to enable them to meet the needs of pupils with special needs and disabilities.

“Without appropriate action and investment, the entitlement of pupils with SEN will continue to be seriously compromised.”


NASUWT Press Office contacts:
Ben Padley 07785 463 119
Lena Davies 07867 392 746
Simon Houltby 07920 711 069

Notes to editors
The NASUWT’s Annual Conference is being held at Manchester Central from 14-17 April.

The full text of the motion is below:

Keith Page to move,
Hampshire West to second:
Conference recognises the adverse impact on teachers of:
(i) the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice (April 2015);
(ii) budget cuts leading to a reduction in the provision of support for pupils with additional learning needs and
(iii) the reduced availability of Special School and Resource Provision.
Conference welcomes inclusive teaching, but condemns the lack of specialist training available to classroom teachers to enable them to meet these pupils’ needs.
Conference urges the National Executive to lobby governments and administrations to ensure that additional learning needs provision is addressed within teacher training programmes.
Conference instructs the National Executive to commission independent research into the scope and quality of CPD provided to support teachers in meeting the additional needs of pupils and to report its findings.
(Hampshire West, North Tyneside)
Alison Morgan to move,
Mark Dickinson to second:
In the first paragraph:
add new (ii) to read ‘workload-intensive practices imposed by schools and local authorities;’ and renumber accordingly
In the second paragraph:
delete ‘welcomes inclusive teaching’ and replace with ‘reasserts its support for a genuinely inclusive education system’ delete ‘these pupil’s needs’ and replace with ‘the needs of pupils with SEND’
In the fourth paragraph:
delete ‘commission independent research into’ and replace with ‘press governments and administrations to improve substantially’ and delete ‘and to report its findings’

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